Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Response to Anonymous et al.

When I decided to start blogging, I swore to myself that while I would always espouse my views and post articles rooted in reality, I would never make this a personal blog. However, I received a comment on my last post called "Enough" that I feel I must reply too. The person who posted this comment, posted anonymously so I have no way of contacting them. This person obviously disagreed with my stand that all Muslims have a duty to report any extremists in their midst. What Anonymous may not have realised until I posted a response to the comment is that I am in fact a Lebanese Canadian Muslim female.

My response to Anonymous basically said that we as Muslims are suffering from the extremism pervading our religion. I stand by that.

We of the moderates have watched our religion systematically torn apart by extremism. We have watched our religion be picked apart, misconstrued, spit upon, reviled and in some cases, watched as other Muslims in far away lands are blown apart right along with the "infidels" that are supposedly the real targets. The reality of it is that we are all targets and we are all victims. Whenever there is a new attack, the fear of retaliation builds. I automatically phone home to tell my mother not to leave the house alone for a few days. My mother is a small woman and can be easily hurt. Thankfully, we live in Canada which truly is the best country in the world with extremely good people but no matter how good the country is, living in a climate of fear is not a good way to live your life.

Being a Muslim since 2001 has become synonymous in the minds of some with being a Nazi. No longer is our religion identified by the charity work that many many Muslims do. No longer is it identified with our beautiful call to prayer that starts with the words "God is Great". The terrorists have even taken that beautiful line and perverted it by uttering it with each new atrocity they commit. It does not help that we seem to have a string of supposedly educated Imams who do not speak out loudly enough nor does it ever make it to the media when we do speak out. I have written countless Op-Ed pieces that have not made it to print denouncing terrorism and extremism in all forms. The reality of it is, moderate Muslims do not sell papers, hate-mongering and extremism do.

In closing, I would say to all of you out there who are judging me by a post, walk a mile in our shoes and then tell me what you would do.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


ENOUGH! Enough with the killing, the maiming, the lame justifications, the perversion of a religion. Enough with the hand-wringing and the muted protests that Islam is peaceful. The time for a quiet repudiation of the terrorists (and their methods) who have hijacked Islam is long over. It was over on 9/11 in New York. It was over on 3/11 in Madrid. It was over in September of last year in Beslan. It was over on 7/7 in London. It was over 1 week ago when a suicide bomber drove into a group of American Soldiers (injuring them) and Iraqi children (killing over 27 of them and maiming countless others). It was over when several bombs went off in Sharm El Sheikh killing 83 (the majority resort and market workers from Egypt with a few foreigners thrown in). It was over before it should ever have started.

From the beginning, Muslims everywhere should have been denouncing terrorism loudly. It is not as though no-one has ever suffered through a terrorist act. Anyone who lived through Lebanon’s civil war can tell you that terrorism is not a good thing. Anyone who visited or saw or heard about or lived through (miraculously) Sabra and Shatila could expound on the effects of wholesale slaughter by terrorism [N.B. though Sabra and Shatila’s massacres were perpetrated by a militia involved in the civil war, the massacre itself would be considered a terrorist act as opposed to an act of war as all the people slaughtered were unarmed civilians]. Any and all who consider themselves a moderate Muslim should have joined (loudly) in the condemnation of terrorist acts be it in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iowa or the middle of nowhere. It is not as though the terrorists ask to see your passport before they blow you up. They have a very “with us or against us” mentality and it includes all Muslims who oppose them.

Whether or not you agree with the war in Iraq is not the point nor is the war in Iraq a justification for the wholesale slaughter of innocent people on their way to work or at work or anywhere for that matter. There are better ways to voice your displeasure with the war. In fact, one of the great ironies of the terrorist hit in London (as noted by The Economist) is that the hit only strengthened the Bush-Blair position on the war in Iraq and the so-called “War on Terror”. Instead of weakening the support for these wars, those who were previously undecided about the methods Bush and Blair were using to fight terrorism landed firmly on the side of war.

At this writing, one could confidently say that Islam is under attack, not from external but most definitely from internal forces. Previously, I had written that it was up to the moderate Muslims in all communities to self-police the community they live in. Now, it is up to the moderates to turn the radicals in to the local law enforcement authorities. If any Muslim attends a Mosque where the preaching has become increasingly radicalized or where there is a clear ideology of hate being preached then they need to inform the local police that this is a Mosque that needs to be looked at more closely. Those of you who would condemn me as a betrayer of Islam need to really think about the consequences we are facing if there is ever a terror hit in Canada and we knew and did nothing to stop it. Any moderate who does not turn in a radical is complicit in their activities in the eyes of those who suffer under terrorism. That is something we all need to think about and consider closely before we decide to stay quiet.

--Photo from BBC Website.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bye Dali

Hi All,

Sad day for bloggers. The brilliant Daliwood has hung up his keyboard. He says he might be back someday.

We say: we hope so.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Take the MIT Weblog Survey


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Great editorial....,3604,1525706,00.html

Monday, July 11, 2005

Freedom of Speech?

Check out this post on Anti-War. Unbelievable.

Radicals vs. Moderates

There is a new front in the war on terror. It is now the front of Radicals vs. Moderates. The moderates will win.

For far too long, moderate muslims have stood by wringing their hands as one psychopath after another declares that he is going in the way of jihad (or at least his version of jihad). The voice of moderates is being drowned out by the screaming rants of what I call the fascist faction of Islam. Make no mistake, these fanatics can and do kill everyone and anyone who does not fit their narrow view of piety. In Iraq, Al Zarqawi targets Iraqis more than Americans; the London bombs had at least one go off in a predominantly Muslim area; there were Muslims in Beslan, Madrid and on 9/11.
New York, Beslan, Madrid, now London. These cities are part of a bigger problem and the
problem belongs to each and every single Muslim out there whether anyone wants to
admit it or not. The problem is extremism and it is time that all self-righteous “moderate” Muslims take ownership and clean house. It has become an embarrassment to speak of
religion. Before all of you fanatics and not-so-fanatics out there condemn me for being honest; think about it. How many of you absolutely cringe when religion, comes up. How many of you rush to explain that the extremists are not the norm and that most Muslims are in fact very
moderate. How many of you hear how much more hollow that explanation sounds when some new beheading happens or some new travesty occurs? How many of you who wear Hijab feel like you have to justify yourselves when in fact, you should never have to justify anything about how you choose to worship.
In reality, London is just the last in a long long spree of murder and mayhem perpetrated by people who justify their actions by perverting passages in the Holy Quran and who say they are doing jihad. Everyone who knows the true meaning of jihad knows that what they are doing is out and out murder, it is not jihad.
Any of us who purport to be true Muslims have an obligation to step up to the plate and fight against terrorism and against racism in all of its forms. As a journalist (who most people don’t realize is a journalist), I hear the old tired line “well, we have been dying for years and
no one cares” and the other “well, they are Muslim so we have to support them”.
Uh, no actually we don’t. The Islam that I believe in had a Prophet who treated his POW’s and hostages humanely until their release was secured, he most certainly did not behead them. The Islam I believe in preaches tolerance and love and does not kill children. More and more, there is no tolerance and there certainly is not any sense of love.

What perhaps all the moderate Muslims need tounderstand is that when a Synagogue gets hit, we are next on the list. When the Mosque gets hit, the Synagogue is usually next. In other words, the racists are definitely equal opportunity. They hate all of us equally. It is no longer just about “Jews” or “Arabs”; it is about open season on all ethnicities that don’t fit what their idea of the norm is. That is why instead of all this asinine arguing over issues that are light years away from being solved by politicians who really don’t want them solved; we should be making joint condemnation statements about any and all racist acts. In the case of terrorist attacks, let us be honest, for each and every hit that a terrorist makes, our lives get just a little bit harder over here in the West. Those who cheered when the planes hit the towers did not think about the human deaths involved, nor did they think about the long-term consequences of such barbarity. More importantly, they did not think about the hit that Islam just took. All they saw was that the mighty military power of the U.S. got a whopping black eye. Well, to be sure, the U.S. got a black eye but guess what, so did Islam. All of a sudden, a religion that many had thought was innocuous, nice and had only a few crazies became quite literally the most talked about, written about and spat on religion in the Western world. Whole hours were devoted to the dissection of what people call “Radical Islamism” with little to no differentiation made between moderates and fanatics. People who had long since been regarded as radical right-wingers, who were known to have massive prejudices about Arabs, were suddenly touted as “Radical Islamism Experts” and “Middle East Experts” and featured on everything from CNN to Fox news to clips and sound bites on our own local networks. What did we do you ask?
We of the moderates? We did nothing. Instead of standing up and loudly condemning the terrorist acts, instead of the leaders of our community and the board of the mosque sending our
condolences to the people of 9/11, we had a few community groups try their best to dispel the image we got saddled with. It was not enough then, and it certainly is not enough now.
We should be at war. We being those of us who are moderates. The war? Definitely an intellectual one. We must ask ourselves if we are truly willing to give Islam over to the extremists. If we are, then we should continue to let sleeping dogs lie and ignore the build up
of tensions that have been occurring between moderates and fanatics worldwide.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

With heavy heart and great sadness, my condolensces at this terrible time.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Best City in Canada?

Hmmm, someone has asked me to recommend one city in Canada and then say why. I am finding it quite hard to do as I think most of Canada is amazing. We have a great great country here.

Montreal: Stunning, cultural, cold in the winter (yech), hot in the summer, must speak french!!
Vancouver: Rainy, cultural, great shopping, great weather!
Edmonton: Friendly people, ok shopping (check out Colour Blind on Whyte Avenue), bad bad drivers (yours truly was one until she relocated), very very cold in winter (again yech) but beautiful summers.
Calgary: Good shopping (Can you tell I like to shop??), good restaurants, very very confusing roadways, beautiful view of the mountains, great c-train system if you don't want to drive downtown...

See what I mean? So many cities.... so little time...

I will think about it and blog more on it later!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day All!